Issue 52, October 2016
Intentionality Analysis of Ethics
Lonergan’s Thought as a Framework
Lonergan argues that intentionality analysis shows that ethical behavior is dynamic. It includes knowledge of reality, reflection on value, judgment of value, decision and action. Knowledge of reality is achieved through the application of cognitional theory. In addition, based upon the pure desire for value, human beings continue to ask a further question: “What should I do?”. With this question, human beings enter the realm of ethical reflection. In ethical reflection, human beings become conscious of value through feelings. Moreover, feelings in response to value occur in the horizon of feelings. The horizon of feelings constitutes an orientation toward the realm of value. It especially affects inquiry into value, reflection on value, deliberation, judgment of value, decision and action. Reflection on value and judgment of value are usually habitual. When human beings encounter a new situation with new feelings and new questions of judgement of value, human beings start a new process of reflection on value and judgement of value. Ethical reflection can be self-correcting as human beings make decisions and put them into action based upon their judgments of value.